Is the Flu Shot Dangerous? Concerns in the Bay Area

1:24 AM, Jan 11, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, FL- With the flu spreading across the Bay Area, health agencies are encouraging people to get the flu shot. However, there is concern out there about whether the vaccine is safe or not.

One woman who spoke to 10 News said she has never gotten a flu shot, will not get one, and won't let her children get one also.

"I don't believe in putting toxins in my body, definitely not my children's bodies. And I just don't think it's safe to be honest," said mother of three, Natalie Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald said she'd rather go with natural remedies, especially with all the concern about vaccines and autism.

"It's scary because you've got a lot of conflicting research," she added.

Public information officer with the Hillsborough County Health Department, Steve Huard, said flu shots are the safest form of protection against the virus.

"The United States has probably the safest vaccine inventory in the world. They put enormous amounts of testing and research into the vaccines," said Huard.

Huard added, even though the shot does have trace amounts of mercury, studies have shown it is safe.

"They've determined that there's really no link with autism and the flu vaccine and basically that has been scientifically dis-proven," said Huard.

Dr. David Berger, a Tampa pediatrician specializing in natural health, believes while the majority of people can get vaccines and have no resulting problems, that's not true for everyone.

"I think that in the wrong child, there could be an immunological response that can cause very significant problems. The situation is that we don't really know who those kids are ahead of time," said Dr. Berger.

And a number of parents, like Fitzgerald, are not taking any chances. Whether the flu is spreading or not.

"I know that I have so many remedies to cure it if it happens, that I'm not worried," said Fitzgerald.

Dr. Berger believes the flu mist is better than the shot because he said it's a more natural way, since most people get sick from inhaling or swallowing.

Again, health officials believe the flu vaccine is safe and effective.